Presidential election turns to Wall Street

Turmoil in the U.S. financial markets was by far the biggest driver of the candidates' media coverage in the past week, according to results from the Dow Jones Insight—2008 Presidential Election Media Pulse.

Turmoil in the U.S. financial markets was by far the biggest driver of the candidates' media coverage in the past week, according to results from the Dow Jones Insight—2008 Presidential Election Media Pulse. Terms associated with the economic crisis dominated the list of words and phrases newly identified by Dow Jones Insight in connection with coverage of the overall election and the recent presidential debate.

In mainstream media sources (press and Web) during the period September 22-29, the following phrases were among those identified as occurring frequently in association with the two candidates:

- “Wall Street” was mentioned in proximity to McCain's name 5,807 times and near Obama's name 4,930 times
- “Economic Crisis” occurred 2,303 times near McCain and 1,517 times near Obama
- “Bailout Plan” was discussed 1,839 times in proximity to McCain and 1,319 to Obama
- “Congressional Leaders,” who were involved in formulating the plan, turned up 2,224 times in conjunction with McCain and 2,068 with Obama

In social media sources (blogs and boards) many of the same terms were identified, but there were additional terms unique to the social media list, and these were connected both directly and indirectly to the crisis. Direct connections included discussions of the takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; “Fannie Mae” or “Fannie” occurred 2,299 times near McCain and 1,921 times near Obama, while “Freddie Mac” occurred 2,040 times near McCain and 906 times near Obama. Indirect connections included John McCain's dodge of an appearance on David Letterman (855 mentions) to appear instead on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric (2,080 mentions, though these included coverage of Couric's interview of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin as well).

Total issues-oriented mentions rose 21% to 1,377,984 in the latest rolling one-month period, compared to 1,137,582 mentions in the previous rolling month tracked by Dow Jones Insight. The prior period had represented a 22% jump from the preceding rolling timeframe. Among the issues tracked, the economy was the most covered issue, moving up two spots from the previous period. A related issue, the housing slump, also advanced, rising three slots to 19 from 22.

The Dow Jones Insight—2008 Presidential Election Media Pulse provides a view of a competitive media landscape and demonstrates how candidates and issues are covered in the media and how that coverage changes over time. Dow Jones Insight combines research methodologies, content, and advanced text-mining and visualization tools to deliver qualitative and quantitative media measurement metrics. The platform processes nearly a million articles, Web pages, blogs and message board posts per day.

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